Giant Bomb Review

51 Comments

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled Review

2
  • XBGS

This remade version of the Turtles' second arcade beat-'em-up is technically competent but not particularly exciting.


Turtles on the high seas. 
If you pumped your share of quarters into any of the innumerable beat-'em-ups of yesteryear's arcades--games like Final Fight, Double Dragon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles--then a high-definition 3D update to any one of those games might sound like a great idea to you. But that's probably because you haven't played any of those old games since they were popular and thus have not yet come to the belated realization that these games are actually pretty simple and boring by today's standards.

Such is the new Xbox Live Arcade remake of the second Ninja Turtles arcade game, Turtles in Time. The game has been "re-shelled" with bland 3D graphics (at the expense of the more memorable 2D originals), and you can now attack along the Y axis in addition to the X, but otherwise this is the same four-player bash-fest filled with Shredder, Krang, and countless Foot Clan ninjas that you banged your head against in the early '90s. In terms of game mechanics this is a competently made game, but that doesn't make it very exciting to play.

Like the original game, you can beat Re-Shelled in 90 minutes or less, as you jump through time from prehistory to a medieval pirate ship, the Old West to a spaceship in the future. But you're pretty much fighting the same Foot Clan grunts on every single level. Come to think of it, there aren't even any decent cutscenes in here to explain why you're bouncing from one epoch to the next. The whole game feels sort of thrown together and by-the-numbers.

The four turtles do have slightly different attributes corresponding to attack speed, range, and so forth, but there's not a lot of depth to the combat. You can grab an enemy and pound him on the ground or throw him into the screen, and do a leaping attack that will knock down any opponents in front of you. But you can also pretty much button-mash your way through the entire game, which gets even easier as you add more players. The game is perfectly functional over Xbox Live, for what it's worth.

This game should look better. 
The most damning thing about Re-Shelled to me personally is the absence of the original arcade game and its sprite-based graphics. Recent remakes like R-Type Dimensions and Secret of Monkey Island have done a fantastic job of letting you transition seamlessly at the touch of a button between the gussied-up new visuals and the retro originals. Here, you're stuck with just the new 3D graphics, which are poorly detailed and would have been better served with a cel-shading effect, which would have at least evoked a cartoon or comic-book feel. It's also important to note (if only for the sake of nostalgic purists) that this is a remake of the original arcade game and not the Super NES version, so it lacks the extra content added to the latter game.

Re-Shelled is stuck in this weird in-between place where it does no nostalgic service to the original game but also fails to bring anything new whatsoever to this simplistic genre. It does what it does well enough, but what it does just isn't that impressive anymore. On the upside, Microsoft is issuing the value of this game as a rebate to anyone who buys all five of the Summer of Arcade releases. If you're such a person, you could at least consider Turtles in Time a middling freebie. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
51 Comments
  • 51 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by cstrang

Boom.  Roasted.

Posted by Nadril

I like the 2 star brad pic, haha.

Posted by YoungBuck

from the demo I knew it was trash. Good thing I tried it out before buying it.

Posted by Kohe321

2star pic is cool. Great review.

Posted by AthleticShark

So your saying the game is bad because its a remake? If they added a lot of new stuff and made it "better" then how would it be a remake? If you could now a day's go out and play the original, I think people would, but this is good for all the people that can't and never did before. I don't see how a game is bad if it is just a remake. You would then be saying its shitty because they didn't stay to the original formula if they tried something knew.  The game isn't worth more then 3 stars, but 2 is just harsh.

Posted by DerekDanahy
@HellBound said:

 I don't see how a game is bad if it is just a remake. "

...Did you read the review?
 
"But that's probably because you haven't played any of those old games since they were popular and thus have not yet come to the belated realization that these games are actually pretty simple and boring by today's standards."
Posted by JonathanMoore

My problem wid dat is that this game was pretty nang back in the day... shame.
 
-- God Bless.

Posted by Rockanomics

I like how one of the complaints, a lack of a cartoon filter option, was totally present way back in the SNES version.

Posted by artofwar420

Brad is crying, you'll pay for this turtles.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Yeah, I definitely get this. I am not really excited for this game in the first place and I didn't play this game as a kid, so I have no use for this.

Posted by Seedofpower

Man, If brad is crying at 2 stars... I wounder what he would do at 1 or none.
Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer

This is actually a fairly balanced review. Much better than the obnoxious guffaw-fest of the quicklook. Now the stars, those pesky stars....

Posted by WinterSnowblind

My main problem with this is definitely the length, I still can't believe they wanted to charge 1200 points for this. 

Dropping it to 800 probably sold them a lot more copies, but for something that will last about 20-30 minutes, I wouldn't pay more than 400 points for it.  I don't mind the new graphics, but I would have prefered the orignal if it meant it could be cheaper.. and what the hell happened to the music?  Is Pizza Power even in the game anymore?

Posted by GalacticPunt

Oh no, the two-star Brad looks so traumatized!  Show us on the doll where the bad turtles touched you...

Online
Posted by Damian

To be refreshingly fun, this game would have to add some of the trappings of a modern game like they did to the remake of BC. Maybe they should have taken a harder look at new brawlers like Castle Crashers, and the like.

Posted by gingertastic_10

I played the SNES version tonight. I still love that game. But it seems that everything I loved about it was killed in this version.
Edited by Crono

This game got what it deserved.  Yes it is bad because it is a remake; because, so much has changed in games since then and it doesn't hold a torch to any of today's popular beat 'em ups like Castle Crashers, so stop trying to start a dialogue with the author and give it up.  The game is a shell of its former self.  Zing!  It deceives us by having a graphic overhaul and little more.

Posted by HairyMike87

I agree with this review. I actually like playing the game because I actually like Turtles in Time. I'm still a fan of the old games like Final Fight and all of those old games. I like simplicity and this has it.
 
They did screw up a lot with the music though and the graphics could have resembled the turtles more old-school like. But, I guess that's what you get when you have people working on a game that aren't fans of the Turtles.

Posted by MrMiyagi

I think this should have been 400 points to be honest.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

Wow, 2 stars? I don't think the game is that bad. I'd at least give it 3. It's still pretty fun.

Edited by Brendan

I love how people are riled up at the amount of stars they give.  It's the most useless metric, just read the review...for crying out loud people even commented that they liked the review but didn't like the star count.  Really? Go back to Gamespot or IGN if you want to nitpick over numbers.  This game got what it deserved, and I have yet to see a differing opinion that isn't based on nostalgia for the Turtles rather than the quality of the game itself.
Online
Posted by StarFry64

Wow talk about nostalgia not being handled right.
 
Honestly, why buy Arcade games like Double Dragon or Final Fight when you can get CASTLE CRASHERS! WAY BETTER/

Posted by Nate

Yep. After watching the quicklook 2 stars was going to be my guess.

Posted by Brackynews

And the SNES version comes out on Virtual Console, when? :)
I'm guessing SOON.

Posted by TheFreeMan

This remake is disappointing. They changed too many parts of the original arcade game.....I played the arcade version on MAME to make sure. First off, eight-way movement is sort of awkward. Double jumping is a arguable addition, but I don't like it much. My biggest complaint is that they change the previously one-button combat to two button combat when it's not necessary at all. It just slows down your combos and breaks them up for no reason. I love the arcade version and can play through the entire thing without getting bored, but this remake I got tired of before the end of the first level. It's not that the old games aren't fun anymore, it's just that this remake isn't fun.
 
I thought the graphics looked pretty neat, but they take away the charm the original had, and the audio is just......not as good in almost every way. Just my take on the game.

Posted by Meltbrain

Aw, bummer. I was hoping for a good review. I've never played Turtles In Time before so I might have to check it out regardless.

Posted by RocketFacepalm

You're better off playing the original Turtles in Time than this horrible remake of the game.

Posted by bonbolapti

I am saddened by this game.

Posted by bybeach

Cmon Brad..you look bummed...
Posted by HydraHam

game is easily a 3/5

Posted by momentarylogic

I have some pretty fond memories of the arcade, but a new coat of wax would probably only have me interested as a freebie.. good review.

The way I think it would have been better? Take the formula, and then just put massive levels of content on top essentially making it Turtles in Time TIMES 5.. as there has been plenty additional developments in plot to fill in the void.


Posted by KnightsofRound

Well, I stayed up until 2 am on the night of release to buy this game.
 
As you can probably tell I'm a HUGE fan of Turtles in Time.  On its own this remake is a competent game.  It's fun to play through a few times with some buddies.  As a remake to Turtles in Time it kinda fails for several reasons.  It's based on the arcade version which is inferior to the SNES version in most ways.  The SNES version feels like a much more complete game and the arcade version lacks the Technodrome level which is easily one of the best parts of the entire game.  Neon Night Riders is also vastly superior in the SNES version, as well as Sewer Surfin'.  Last but not least, yes the music is inferior in this version, but it's not terrible.  It just isn't memorable.  Remember that kick-ass boss battle theme? Yeah I kinda miss that.
 
This is worth a look for people who want some mindless hack 'n slash fun with some friends but it feels more like a reimagining of Turtles in Time rather than a remake.  It's just not nearly as memorable, but on its own merits it's still a pretty fun game to waste an hour or two with.

Posted by Angularbanjo

I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time on this game by myself, but playing it co-op with my four-year-old Turtles fan son is great fun.

Posted by Lilja
Posted by R3ym0nd

Wow! I played the trial, and thought the same thing. I think these old school beat em ups are boring, because there is almost nothing to do except hack and slash. It proves my hypothesis, that if the game was good back then, it may not be comparable to today's games. Like Damian said, "To be refreshingly fun, this game would have to add some of the trappings of a modern game like they did to the remake of BC. Maybe they should have taken a harder look at new brawlers like Castle Crashers, and the like'''
 
BTW: Good job Brad.
 
P.S Sorry if i have grammar and interpunctuation problems in my text. English is my secondary language.

Posted by Mouth
@MrMiyagi said:
"I think this should have been 400 points to be honest. "

After seeing this, I have noe doubt that it should be 5 bucks. Re-shelled just got ripped a new one.
Posted by Media_Master

So...get the original then

Edited by HitNRun

2 stars =/= 4.0 at Gamespot. 2 stars == 2 stars. If stars were indexed to those ridiculous 100 point metrics, virtually every game would be rounded to 4 stars.
 
And this game is a classic 2 star game. It isn't awful, but there's nothing to recommend it over, say, eating a delicious sandwich.

Edited by Maxszy

I don't know. Don't fully agree with the review for this one. I think the graphics aren't that bad and for me personally, I definitely prefer them to playing the old 2D sprites. And while the combat is simple, I think when playing co-op with some friends, the game actually is pretty fun just beating the baddies up. Sure not really that challenging or complex, but fun nonetheless.
 
If we have to go by star ratings, I would say a 3/5. Not amazing enough to warrant more but its not bad enough to warrant less I don't think.

Posted by monkie89

To summarize this review:
 
"I don't like the genre. 2/5"
 
"The most damning thing about Re-Shelled to me personally is the absence of the original arcade game and its sprite-based graphics. Recent remakes like R-Type Dimensions and Secret of Monkey Island have done a fantastic job of letting you transition seamlessly at the touch of a button between the gussied-up new visuals and the retro originals"
 
This would be nice and all, but those games are nothing more than a graphical face lift. Re-Shelled is a remake from the ground up, with the most important change being the gameplay. The base mechanics are different from the original, so being able to "transition seamlessly at the touch of a button between the gussied-up new visuals and the retro originals"  is simply not possible.
 
Now, being able to unlock the original Turtles in Time as a separate mode entirely would have been a great feature.

Posted by Druminator

The only reason any one should get this is for nostalgic purposes. It won't last long but it's nice to have in the collection.

Posted by StarFoxA

This is one review I disagree with. This game is a ton of fun, especially in co-op, and the graphical upgrade is quite nice. The only part about it I dislike is the abomination that the developers did with the music. Part of me died when I heard the music.

Posted by agentboolen
Wow what abuse to simplistic gameplay and a obvious hate towards beat'em up genre from this critic!!!  Yes there isn't much to this game and it should not be compared cruely to modern games!!!  Far as I'm concerned I would rather this critic stay with his Call Of Duty games and not even bother reviewing genre's that he has absolutly now interest in anymore.  I grew up playing games like this in the late 80's and 90's and really have enjoyed playing it over the internet with a group of friends over Xbox Live.  Anyone that changes there mind of picking this game up because of this horrible abusive review should think twice.  This critic is obviousely in love with more curent genre's and in his mind there is no place for Beat'em ups!!!  For me I think non stop shooter games now a days is boring as h*ll and would love for beat'em up games to make a coma back.  Only point I can give him is yes this should have had the old skin in the game too but otherwise the new skin has its own charm and should not impact a fun game experience.
Posted by HitNRun

He's not comparing it to Call of Duty. You could compare it to, say, Castle Crashers and it comes out looking pretty poor.
 
You can swing your weapon. You can jump. The graphics are OKish, but more "stylistic" than "better". Reported clear times range between 30 and 90 minutes.  There is no challenge and only the slimmest possibility of failure.
 
You can get nostalgia and your helping of Turtles with the TMNT arcade game port to XBLA for $5. If you already bought that one and you still haven't learned your lesson, well, go for it I guess.

Posted by Linkyshinks

Crappy game.

Posted by thehuntsmen5434

I beat this with a friend and it seemed kinda easy.  And were the bosses re-arranged or just different?  Nothing felt the same.

Posted by Shuborno

It's weird to see a review of this game complaining about it (not that I think the complaints aren't valid).
 
I'm reminded of this Penny Arcade comic:
 http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/6/11/ 

I like Turtles in Time.  This is that game with 3D graphics.  It's as advertised, and it's as much (or as little) fun as it ever was.  What else do you need to know?

Posted by flipdangerdoom

@ thehuntsmen
 
The arcade and the SNES versions have always been different. With Turtles in Time they stuck closer with the arcade scheme of things.
 
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_in_time#Version_differences

Posted by icedturtle

This is a good game for younger kids, if you have a little brother I'm pretty sure he would like this game a lot. 

Posted by FrEeZe

Giantbomb has such a Staff-loving community. Other sites have very rude/snooty comments for a bad review for Turtles in Time. 

  • 51 results
  • 1
  • 2